Screenshot from a video posted on Twitter that allegedly shows a former JVS employee (left) stealing a school board recall petition from a volunteer collecting signatures (right).
Screenshot from a video posted on Twitter that allegedly shows a former JVS employee (left) stealing a school board recall petition from a volunteer collecting signatures (right).

JVS fires employee accused of stealing S.F. school board recall petitions

Jewish Vocational Service has dismissed an employee after reviewing a video showing him allegedly stealing petitions from organizers of a school board recall effort in San Francisco.

The incident, which occurred on May 30 at a farmers market in the Richmond District, was caught on camera. In the video, which was posted by Man Kit Lam, a man is confronted by recall organizers accusing him of stealing their petitions. The man eventually says “you caught me” and proceeds to hand a handful of petitions back to them.

In a statement posted on its website, JVS said it started “a fact-gathering process after becoming aware of a video showing an off-duty employee apparently interfering with the petition-gathering process of the San Francisco Board of Education recall.”

The employee was “immediately” put on administrative leave, and then after a “thorough review” was dismissed.

“We are grateful for the guidance and support we’ve received from the San Francisco community of which we have been honored to be a part of for almost 50 years,” the statement read.

JVS CEO Lisa Countryman-Quiroz declined to comment and directed J. to the official public statement. The employee who was dismissed did not respond to a request for comment over Facebook.

JVS is headquartered in San Francisco and offers free assistance to job-seekers who need help building skills to find sustainable work.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the police department is investigating the alleged theft and had no updates on Thursday. California law states that forcibly taking petitions for a recall effort is a misdemeanor.

In February, parents started the recall effort against three school board members, president Gabriela López, vice president Faauuga Moliga and commissioner Alison Collins. They say the school board has not done enough to return students for in-person learning. Instead, they argue, the board has pursued less important pursuits, such as voting to rename schools in a resolution that was later rescinded.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler is a staff writer at J. You can reach him at gabriel@jweekly.com and follow him on Twitter @ggreschler.